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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Sep 15, 2006 1:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

As anyone who reads posts here knows, I certainly have issues with Bobby, but I am not here to rehash those.

To paraphrase the Bard:

Friends, Deadheads, Countrymen (and women):
I come to Praise Bobby, not bury him.

Of all the members of the original band, Bobby was the one who improved the most over the years. He developed from a competant rhythm guitarist to a master of the craft and one of the most innovative rhythmic players in music. By the middle of the 70's he was adding tasteful, thoughtful licks to almost everything he played, and was as interactive with Jerry, and particularly Brent, as anyone in the band. In so many ways, he was the glue that held it all together and his steadyness allowed Phil and Jerry to go to the wierd places that they so often did. He was as integral as anyone to the overall feel, sound and experience of the GD.

His choice of songs was tilted a little too much to the cowboy and melodramatic side at times for my taste, yet many of his songs (including, but not limited to, Playin, Other One, Let It Grow, Truckin, etc) are an essential part of the Grateful dead tapestry and sound. Bobby, as much as anyone else defined the GD sound with his interwoven licks and his vocals. He was also, more often than not, the "conductor" of shows, with his visual cues (Hand raised, jumping) to signal key changes, jam changes, song endings etc. As much of a showman that he was, he accepted, for the most part, his role as a true rhythm guitarist, providing awesome rhythm and support for the sound, thus making the music the incredible entity that it was.

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-09-15 15:33:09

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-09-15 15:39:49

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-09-15 20:18:26

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-09-15 20:24:32

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Sep 16, 2006 4:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: God- GLad to get some good ol disagreement

I agreed with everyone about Bobby up until around 83-84- that is when he started to be the rock star- that was when he began making set choices that would completely take the steam out of a hot set- He was certainly integral to the sound of the band throughout his career- but his gibberish during many estimated prophets was worse than DOnna's screeching- I heard one today from November 85 in Rochester- what is that crap?

Bobby made himself, in my mind, obsolete. When he was doing what he does best, in the sixties and seventies, he was blending into the band - coloring the sound, and not trying to upstage-

Back to the acting metaphor- sure, Bobby was not acting like many rock stars as we knew them- but comparitively to his past, he stood out like a sore thumb during most of the 80's and 90's- I disagree that the GD would have just been JGB with Phil and Mickey instead of John Kahn and whatever drummer if Bobby had died or left the band.

You can do the test yourself- listen to a few deals or sugarees from JGB and then the same songs as done by the GD in the same year- Do that and then tell me if Bobby being there made that much of a difference. I think not.

The musical chart is the musical chart- The GD without Bobby but the other members from 1984-1990 would have sounded just fine with another very good rhythm guitarist- I would hazard a guess that Barry Sless would have been asked to tour with them, based on their friendship- listen to the rhythm playing during Phil and F shows when "Bobby" tunes are played.......Is there really a huge huge difference?

Bobby made himself obsolete in my book with his ego and his poor choices. He is not the only one who made poor choices (Black Peter should have been sent to a black Hole by 1987)- but he made many more of them- he had seemingly lost touch with a certain grooveness that the band had had- I do not want to skip his songs during streaming- but he ingratiated me so much that I cannot stand to hear Hell in a Bucket again- I am willing, believe me.

As a challenge I will start a new post and ask for great versions of certain Bobby songs from 1983 through 7/16/90- I will listen and agree to change my mind if I hear something I am missing now.

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Poster: Spaced Date: Sep 19, 2006 12:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: God- GLad to get some good ol disagreement

>>not the only one who made poor choices (Black Peter should have been sent to a black Hole by 1987)- but he made many more of them>>

What good are the 'what if' scenarios? It's mainly a gambit by devils pushing unhappiness.

'Black Peter' was exactly what was needed by me at least witnessnessing a freakout at Stanford a few after some major deal went down. Maturing of negative karma is different than adandonment.

It's almost like the negative comments are from one busy crazy person. How can you help the willfully ignorant spiteful person whose chances grow thinner?

I've been into the conflicting aspects of the GD, but we've all seen them turn on a dime and come up with some inspiring new direction. What a great lesson.

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Poster: patkelley Date: Sep 16, 2006 2:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

There would be no Grateful Dead without Bobby Weir. I'm suprised at the number of posts here. I think it's a non-issue

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Garcia gave Weir his due during a Guitar Player Magazine interview, saying that he had a mastery of the fretboard and could form many impossible chords with his long fingers. In later days, Weir adopted somewhat of a minimalist philosophy, attempting to fit the frequencies of his guitar somewhere between the keys and Garcia. He was much thinner in the mix compared to 71 and 72.

I personally enjoyed the 70-73 years, when cowboy songs ruled. The Weir/Barlow tunes stood up well with Garia/Hunter numbers like Loser and Deal. All could be viewed as historic western songs. Both SkullF..ck and Europe 72 had a much heavier cowboy tone than what was to come...Wake of The Flood.

The fact is, though that after MJars Hotel/Terrapin the songwriting seemed to disappear, keeping the early tunes in circulation throughout. Beginning with the release of "Goes To Heaven" there's not much creativity in the songwriting department that could stand the test of time.

At the end of the day, Weir was/is a rock solid rhythm player, but don't let him near a slide.

PS: Garcia did smoke on stage...especially at JGB shows. There's a video on youtube showing him blowing out a big cloud of smoke as the song begins. Cigarette?

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 6:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Of COURSE he smoked onstage! I used to get all jealous because he got to but I didn't ( so as not to offend my neighbors, I'm polite that way ). My point was he never smoked DURING songs like " rockstars" ( Jimmy Page, Keith Richards ) did. He smoked BETWEEN songs ( EVERY song actually)and obviously never got to finish one until break. This was in disagreement to another post made why Bob and him alternated songs. I missed the giving his voive a rest bit too although that isn't it either imo.

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Poster: tbrad Date: Sep 15, 2006 8:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Dude, I saw Jerry toke down many, many times.
I remeber one show, 4/7/91 in Orlando where I had tickets directly above the stage (boy did I miss general seating then!). I could see right down into Garcias little area behind his amps. He had a little ash tray and dugout.
He was hittin between every number.

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Sep 15, 2006 6:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Wish I could use the word love and Bobby in the same sentence- but I cannot- I must say, it was not until I found this place that I realized the extraordinary rhythm player he was- and the choices he made were often fascinating, amazing, and incredibly complex- that is- the choices he made during jams- SO I agree with much that has been written here- there was a chemistry between Bobby and Jerry too- just not the same level of metaphysical connectedness that Phil and Jerry had.

Let me be the first one to say this- and I will take the heat- I think the dead could have been the dead without Bobby playing rhythm guitar in the band- One only need listen to the 1968 Hartbeats shows to hear that- Jerry, Phil, Mickey and guests- sure as hell sounded like the dead of those days to me- just a lot less vocals-

Bobby at some point in the eighties imagined he had become the rock star he dreamed of being- a good friend of mine was finally driven away from going to shows because of not being able to tolerate "Bobby the ROck Star" for ten minutes at a time several times a night.

NOw- on the plus side, Estimated Prophet, Music Never Stopped, Cassidy, PITB...those tunes were written in interesting time signatures and led to fascinating places at times- but another rhythm guitarist could have pulled off these songs- Bobby's best days died with the 70's- too many shows on too many nights in the 80's and 90's were punctuated by the rock star spewing- and too many an estimated Prophet thrown away with plain stupid gibberish- Bobby dont sing no scat

So there, I said it. Think about one thing- we all go out and see dead cover bands or have done so in the last ten years- Dark Star Orchestra notwithstanding, have you ever left a cover band's show saying "if the bobby had been better it would have been a really good night"

NO. If the "jerry" was good- and if the "jerry" and the "phil" were both good, you walk away thinking - that is a damn good dead cover band. BUt I would love to hear if anyone has had a dead cover band experience where the Jerry and Phil players were very good, and the Bobby was adequate or even non-existent- and walked away from that show saying the cover band sucked- the rhythm guitarist just did not catch the flavor of Bobby.

Sorry folks. Jerry/Phil/Billy = Dead

No Jerry- No Grateful Dead. DO I like Ratdog? I have heard some things I like- Do I like Phil and F? Sure I do. Do I leave Phil and F, and did I leave TOO shows and "The Dead" shows somewhat disappointed no matter how good they were?> Yes.

The Grateful Dead could have gone on had it been Bobby that passed on- Mick Taylor, for one, could have stepped in. Joe Walsh could have stepped in. Even the dude from Widespread Panic could have stepped in- the Rhythm guitar sections would have been played- they may not have been so interesting and weird and different- and I would have missed that- But Bobby would not have caused the band to disband.

Now Brent.....the band did kind of disband- Hornsby gave us some very good shows- and Vince a good one here or there- but carve out 8 hours this weekend and listen to parts of all of 81 shows or 85 or 89- then do the same the next day with 91 92 93- no comparison- Many a 90's show felt almost "Not Dead"- but then Heroin was a big reason for that

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 7:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I so completely disagree with you it's not even funny. Mickey and the Heartbeats? Yeah so what? Garcia and Lesh could have gone a million different directions like that but would they have SUSTAINED that? No, just like the Dead didn't. Kept reinventing themselves which is one of the things that kept them alive imo.

Your point is an opinion and speculation ( just like mine ) so I can't say it's wrong I just disagree. I especially disagree with you giving Brent more of an important role than Bob. But oh well we all have our opinions. My opinion is that without the core four - Jerry, Phil, Bob, and Bill it wouldn't have been the Grateful Dead for all those years. And as for other rhythm guitarists I just can't imagine it. Here's another one - 1/2 Step: who the hell is providing the texture on that one that makes the song unique? And as for the " rock star" thing he gets flamed for - I understand but at least he had the thick skin to go all balls out. I don't care what anyone says, imo Victim was the LAST strange twisted song they wrote. Were there other good songs after that? Definately but nothing THAT strange. Ok, I'm rambling. I've just been to enough shows to think that Bob held a lot more together than he still obviously gets credit for. Oh, and Ratdog ( NOW not when it was early on ) hits me way more deeper than all of Phils bands with the exception of his first few line ups in 99. THOSE were experimental, more so than the last years of the Dead. Ever since Kimock and him split Phil sounds exactly to me like what you're talking about a " cover band" but Ratdog doesn't.

I guess the obvious point though to me is reflected in that I don't really collect any of the incarnations that Jerry isn't a part of.

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Poster: Spaced Date: Sep 15, 2006 7:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

>>Looks Like Rain. "...sound of street cats making love...">>

I hear that sound alot in my hood, and I always think of GD or Fleetwood, "Lousy lovers- pick their prey, But they never cry out loud."


>>Weir was/is a rock solid rhythm player, but don't let him near a slide.>>

Bonny Raitt was a really good addition one NYE.


>>Jerry/Phil/Billy = GD]]

Wasn't that a lineup sometime? A friend once told me about some show he saw something similar around 1975.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Sep 16, 2006 4:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

always wondered what motivated Bob's rock star shenanigans...it just seemed so out of context to the GD experience

if he was only caught up in the fervor of the moment, that's ok, he is allowed to be human, but surely he couldn't have thought that deadheads actually needed the over exaggerated stage show?

This post was modified by midnight sun on 2006-09-16 11:23:25

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Poster: doodle Date: Sep 16, 2006 8:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

I think his "rock star shenanigans" are being a bit overstated here. But the question/point of where it came from? He was a rock star, remember? They put out albums, got played on the radio, sold out stadium concerts = rock star. Believe me, I have no use or tolerance for rock star shenanigans from anyone. The fact that Bob lunged on the down downstoke a handful of times per show isn't really "rock star" antics. Hell, we all shit bricks in Hampton when Garcia kicked his leg one time. Was that not begging some rock star antics and theatrics ?

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Sep 16, 2006 1:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

doodle: very good point, comparatively speaking Bob was one cool cucumber in as far as the rock star world goes, but i am still not buying the premise "sold out stadium concerts = rock star"

i wasn't referring to his definitive cues or swaying to the beat as much as examples of his ridiculous rushing to front of the stage during Jer's Sugar Mag solo for the sake of some cheap applause or the ear splitting shrieks before the otherwise sensitive and mysterious transition from Estimated into the Estimated jam...or more specifically in response to Liamfinnegan's comment;

"Bobby at some point in the eighties imagined he had become the rock star he dreamed of being- a good friend of mine was finally driven away from going to shows because of not being able to tolerate "Bobby the ROck Star" for ten minutes at a time several times a night."

maybe we were at entirely different shows, but i can't recall Jerry "begging some rock star antics and theatrics" at any given time...for the sake of further comment and intrigue in this subject i will offer to go out on a shaky limb by stating i believe the man to be the embodiment of antithesis of such behavior

if anything, the fact that Jerry tolerated Bob's behavior in order to keep GD together is to be commended

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Poster: doodle Date: Sep 16, 2006 6:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

Midnight Sun, You are correct, but I think perhaps I may not have made my point of view clear.
"maybe we were at entirely different shows, but i can't recall Jerry "begging some rock star antics and theatrics" at any given time...for the sake of further comment and intrigue in this subject i will offer to go out on a shaky limb by stating i believe the man to be the embodiment of antithesis of such behavior"
I agree with you, Jerry was (imo) the antithesis of such "mugging", but my take was coming from the audience's perspective, not the individual band members. I feel it was us who went nuts for that. Again, when Jerry kicked his leg or even said "Thanks", folks went nuts screaming. So, if Bob shrieked during Estimated and everyone screamed, and he shrieked the next time and everyone screamed, it sort of makes sense that he might keep doing it. To him it may have sounded like approval. Also, and this is a stretch, it might be that those shrieks and "Haa's" were one of his few avenues of "soloing". Jerry could stepout and take a lead, but this was Bob's most "vocal" (pun sort of intended) way of doing it. Let the maelstrom of disagreement and attacks begin! But, I agree, Jerry would never do those types of things and was never about those types of things. Someone mentioned Phil's famous goofing, perhaps this was Bob's outlet.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Sep 17, 2006 2:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

doodle:

the 2nd night at Alpine 82, Jer walked out on stage for the start of the 1st set and casually waved to the audience...now THAT was certainly special!

come to think of it, i too had often felt that Bob's lack of improvised solo guitar work had a lot to do with his overcompensated vocal performances...thanks for reminding me of these impressions

i always wondered why the audience encouraged him...it seemed to be emanating primarily from the compressed crowd in front of the stage...i spent some shows in the sanctuary of the rafters, although people might respond to peaks and song selections etc., i never noticed anyone up there enabling Bob's lunacy

Hershey Park 85, i was standing off in the bleachers in the rain, there was a crowd of teenagers in front of me, during Bobby's Estimated Buzzard Kill Routine the teenager who was off to the end of the row (and looking rather dejected) said to his friends, "IT SUCKS"...i guess that pretty much summed it up in 2 words or less

This post was modified by midnight sun on 2006-09-17 09:56:17

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Poster: doodle Date: Sep 17, 2006 5:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

"come to think of it, i too had often felt that Bob's lack of improvised solo guitar work had a lot to do with his overcompensated vocal performances...thanks for reminding me of these impressions"

Much like email, I can never determine someone's tone/inflection/meaning from certain passages. I'll take it as neutral, engaged dialogue. I'll go back to direwolf's post (I believe). He hammed, sure, but for me, it wasn't enough to detract from the overall experience. Again, I think the audience encouraged it. Like you Midnight Sun, I too, hung out up top- Jerry's side, side/behind the stage; lots of room and the suspended speakers made for good sound. If anything goofy was going on on stage, I could see it or avoid it. I agree also, the front pit definitely dug the Bob lunges (that was probably all he could see, what with the lights). I was never much for rock star antics or the antics of the crowd. Frankly, I don't know who started that NFA chant that lasted for-fucking-ever, but that was audience generated showboating, and God, I thought that bordered on embarrassing.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Sep 17, 2006 3:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

doodle: to clarify, i was in fact sincerely thanking you for reminding me, as you supplied several very probable and much appreciated answers to my question, "why Bob, WHY?"

the funny thing is, i stared at that "thanks..." for some time wondering if it would be misunderstood as sarcasm, but couldn't think of another way around it

jam on bro

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Poster: doodle Date: Sep 17, 2006 5:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

You are welcome, my friend. These are discussions that were always very lively and better served face to face and with plenty of beer. Now THAT was the way to find out the best "Eyes" and why Bob did what he did. Cheers :)

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Sep 16, 2006 8:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

I have to agree with you doodle. Bobby was pretty low key for a rock star, which as you pointed out, he certainly was/is. Almost all the other bands i love certainly have more "antics" than bobby at his most active: Rush, Yes, Dave Matthews, REM, Phish, Black Crowes, Peter Gabriel, Neil Young, and on and on. (of course Kimock moves about as much as Garcia - lol - certainly not a bad thing).

May have seemed a little silly at times, but I certainly had no issue with it - was not a disctraction for me. I kinda took it as passion for his music. just my opinion though.

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Poster: cosmicharlie Date: Sep 16, 2006 9:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

i still get a chuckle when i see video of Phil, Bobby & Jerry stepping up and back in unison, all very tame compared to, lets see...The Who - lol

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Sep 16, 2006 10:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

Man, can't believe that I am actually defending Bobby twice in one week....LOL

Some of Bobby's "Rock Star Antics" had to do with cueing the other band members to chord changes etc. No matter how good you are at improvising, with seven guys on stage, there has to be someone who can signal song endings, key changes, transitions etc, so that they can appear seamless. More often than not, Bobby was the one providing the signals by raising his arm, little jumps etc. His other so called antics, while seemingly extreme compared to Jerry's mannequin appearance on stage, are very mild compared to so many other musicians (I also recall the buzz that a slight Jerry jump/leg movement would generate).

There also seems to have been a double standard applied to Bobby, and I am as guilty as anyone. I recall seeing Phil ham it up quite often on stage, yet never heard any complaints. On the contrary, while Bobby was criticized for "Rock Star Antics", Phil would be praised for his "Prankster Like Antics".

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Sep 16, 2006 2:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

Purple Gel: once again you are correct

the thing is my viewpoint is somewhat uninformed because i never attended a lot of rock star performances...i guess i am one of those heads that appreciates GD for what they are not, as well as for what they are

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Poster: sydthecat Date: Sep 16, 2006 7:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

Antics aside I always dug it when Bob came down to the front to deliver the coup de gras in the Estimated bridge Jerry solo. I saw it once from third row centre and it just knocked me out.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Sep 16, 2006 9:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

i know, you really have to watch out for his headstock when he gets into a frenzy...how long were you out for?

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Poster: sydthecat Date: Sep 16, 2006 9:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why I Question Bobby?

I missed the next night's show but not to worry---they didn't play Shakedown until the third night.

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Poster: BobzCat Date: Sep 15, 2006 9:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Hear hear.

When I first started listening to the Dead, it was Weir's rhythm work that caught my ear. There were plenty of other lead guitarists also blowing my mind back then, along with Jerry, but what Weir was doing was unlike anything I heard.

Those splintered percussive chords and licks filled in those little spaces in unexpected places, and sometimes seemed to take a Jerry thought and reinterpret it, while Jerry continued elsewhere....

I always thought Bobby's playing was cool. Without him, the Dead would sound more like, well, the JGB.

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Poster: cush11 Date: Sep 16, 2006 11:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Hi all, I don't chime in here often (see "lurker" thread), but do have a couple comments, more anecdotes to some of these responces.

Shorts: One year at Shoreline we were walking to the gate and Bobby pulled in the driveway right in front of us. He was wearing very nice Guatamalan shorts then, but when he came onstage was wearing the ratty cutoffs! Go figger...

Air Garcia: Vegas, Silver Bowl, both of Garcias feet simultaheously off the stage with a little windmill ala Pete Townshend to boot!

Ratdog or Phil: I heard Ratdog here in Phoenix this summer ( 6/28 I think). It was fun, sounded good, felt good I danced and had a great time! When I got home I listened to a Phil download from a night or two before and there was absolutely no comparison between the two. I'm not knocking Bobby and Ratdog, But I felt (feel) Ratdog live vs Phil memorex,Phil wins with any of his Phriends!

I do agree with most though, Bobby is fine musician and I don't think the Grateful Dead would have been the same without him! I was pissed at him last november, even boycotted a show the night after his post, but hey, i say some stupid things too. Probably most of what I just wrote!

Just a note; My 1st GD concert was the Shrine in LA in 1967. My last, SLC 1995 and at least a couple shows most every year in between. Peace out, Cush

PS Thanks to all for the work and Deadication keeping the music alive for us all!!!

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Poster: PharmacyDave Date: Sep 15, 2006 9:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Here Here,

From 85-91 I was actually camped out in front of Bobby, not Jerry. I loved the crazy approach to Rhythm and all the textures and tones he came up with. The guy can absolutely lay it down on guitar. How easy could it possibly have been to be between Phil and Jerry. Good Job Bob!!!!

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Poster: ksantilli Date: Sep 15, 2006 9:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Ok I can give some of the stuff you said but man he brought shows to a SCHREECHING halt!!!! I saw so many shows where the second set was building and building, and then Wham!! Throwing Stones--what a buzz kill.

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Poster: JodyC Date: Sep 15, 2006 1:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Its kind of funny reading this. During lunch in my car I was listening to Rockin on the Rhein from Europe 4/72 and he was singing Me and Bobby Magee and sounded wonderful- really caught my attention. What I don't know, in response to many peoples posts/replies on this thread, is how much input he had over song selections or even lyrics. Many posts seem to imply he was singing all these songs without the approval or input of the rest of the band. If the rest of the band thought they were cheesy songs and show killers, surely they would have overridden him or told Barlow and Hunter to crank out some new lyrics for new songs. My take is they were simply there to give Jerry time to rest his throat and have a smoke (ironic, but as an ex smoker I feel for him). In McNallys and Lesh' book, he was always seen as the rich preppy kid of the bunch (love pics of him standing next to Pigpen, no doubt happy Pig was on his team) but that his love for the music and enthusiam was unending early on and throughout the bands history.

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 2:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I've never seen Jerry smoke while playing guitar so how could this be a factor in having Bob sing a song? And as far as everyone agreeing to a song - no way, the band was way too anarchic for that. Look at Kreutzman saying how much he hated the cowboy tunes but they never went away.I'm sure there were plenty of songs that were killed for lack of interest but I'm also sure there were plenty of others that continued to be played even when they didn't want to. Part of that was probably sheer complacancy or maybe convenience too with tunings etc.

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Sep 16, 2006 4:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

OK, I chimed in earlier regarding some issues I had with a few cheesy lyrics that would kill some good buzz time here and there, but that is nitpicking at best. Like many here, I recognize that Bobby's ability to structure and hold a tune together gave Jerry such a rock solid platform from which he could launch into his free-form jazz odyssey; oh, wait, that's Spinal Tap. Sorry. I meant to say his mind bending, soul stretching, alternate universe creating solos. Also, regarding the country & western tunes he is so fond of, they acted as a bridge between my father and me; he was a long time fan of the classic western stuff from Marty Robbins, Waylon & Willie, J. Cash, etc. Many years ago while still living w/ my folks, I was listening to a show with an exceptional El Paso>Big River. He walks by my room, stops, looks in and asks "who is this? it sounds really good" When I told him it was the Dead, I think he about fainted. Right there, all his stereotypes of the band fell away and we established some common ground. While he would never become a Darkstar fan, he quickly came to enjoy listening to many 1st sets. So, thanks Bobby, your love of campy western tunes actually made a difference in my home life at the time. OK, enough sentimentality; I think I'll have to post another "Best Donna Screech" question to get back on track.

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Poster: high flow Date: Sep 15, 2006 2:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

So, Me and My Uncle(a cowboy song), which I believe was played more than any other song in the band's history, was not liked by some band members?

I can understand some songs going in and out of favor, but these cowboy songs were staples. I seriously doubt they were kept around for Bobby's sake. Maybe Billy didn't like cowboy tunes, but most of the members had to of loved MAMU and El Paso and others, based on stats alone. 30 years worth.

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Poster: JodyC Date: Sep 15, 2006 2:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Your last line is what I was thinking.

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 2:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I think they were staples partly out of laziness

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Poster: high flow Date: Sep 15, 2006 2:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

It's tough to call a band which played 100+ shows each year for 30 years lazy. But, about these songs, I have no inside info. I'm just glad these songs survived because I like 'em.

Remember when Urban Cowboy soundtrack WAS country music. And look at country music today, ICK!

If it weren't for these songs I would have never discovered western swing, the Bakersfield sound, Bob Wills, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings or Buck Owens.

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 3:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

No it's not. How about complacent, is that a better word? Look, there's NO denying that band did more for longer than any band I know so I can see where this point is ridiculous to a degree HOWEVER I'm quite convinced they settled into more than one rut - like the set in stone rotation and combos. Alot of this was I'm sure due to not having to change tunings or also not having to rehearse.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Sep 15, 2006 4:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Concur about rotation rut. Even Hornsby said that he asked the band to shake things up and get the crowd going by opening with wharf rat. They looked at him like he was from mars and said that it was a "second set" song.

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Poster: patkelley Date: Sep 16, 2006 2:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Wharf Rat IS a second-set song. What would they follow it up with, Around? If they did that, the show would be over in the first set!

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Sep 16, 2006 6:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I could see a slow jam into Stranger from wharf rat

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Poster: BobzCat Date: Sep 17, 2006 3:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Wharf Rat... didn't they once sandwich it with Dancin' in a first set in 76?

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Poster: cosmicharlie Date: Sep 15, 2006 2:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

my take was that they played the staples like Me & My Uncle, Mexicali blues and such as warmups toward later jammin. Gettin them fingers warmed up! Structured toward free form and inovativeness.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Sep 15, 2006 12:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I love Bob too. I am not a musician but people I know who are say that how he plays guitar is very difficult.

My only gripes are his numberous boring 1st set Dylan covers. Wish he would have played On the road again, Lazy lightning, Race is On, ect. But then I wouldn't have gotten Queen jane every night.

Also, I think it was around 94 when the technology of sounds coming from his guitar were quite obnoxious. One poster called it, "axe-pick". Yes they needed to turn him up on nights Jer was out of it, but listening to beautiful recordings and that smoooth sounding style he had for years eventually just turned into noise.

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 11:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I've allways thought Bobby was given WAY too much underserved shit. And for what? Because he wore collared shirts? Because some of his songs DO have cheesy lyrics or worse were played to death? All of that aside he is not only one of the most original players out there his playing was absolutely just as much of the uniqueness of the Grateful Dead song, sometimes more. Think about it - who's lick defines the songs China Cat, Terrapin, Scarlet, just to name a few? I think one of the reasons he gets so little credit is alot of times his playing is so sublte with so many nuances that are less up front but more like little quirky details that make the whole painting so much brighter and interesting.Also alot of that youthful enthusian/rockstar persona was often times needed to pick up the pace. I don't care what anyone says - songs like Hell in a Bucket not only helped to give a much need pick up of the pace but also often kept the music relevant. I love Jerry but his tunes kept getting slower and slower, sometimes a rock song with a beat sure was nice no?

My two complaints are

a) later on his sound got a little too high end and thin BUT alot of that also has to do with him sometimes being screwed out of the mix

b) those cut off shorts were too much! ( or rather not enough!) really kind of a fashion faux pas in my opinion : )

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 11:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

case in point - Brent gets way more responses to his role in the band. Give me a break! No matter how much you love Brent or dislike Bobby - Weir goes back to the beginning and deserves way more credit than any of the keyboardists for his role in the Grateful Dead.

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Poster: high flow Date: Sep 15, 2006 12:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

GD was a great band, at times, with all line-ups. Not sure why Bobby is under-appreciated musically. However, I was always there for the Jer(wearin' my, "I'm only here for the beer" shirt). Most of the time, for me, shows were good or bad based on Jerry's performance. Just one man's POV.

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Sep 15, 2006 10:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I completely agree with your assesment of little Bobby with the caveat that there were still some issues I had with him. Many of the his tunes, two in particular, have some lyrics that would cause me to crack up, regardless of how well the band was playing. Number 1 is one I've mentioned in another thread, Samson and Dehlila. "Killed a man with his paws!" This lays me out every time I hear it, oftentimes killing what can be a very well played tune. Number 2 is Looks Like Rain. "...sound of street cats making love..." Wow, if that doesn't create the most romantic mental image. Sorry, that line makes a border-line tune crash horribly for me. OK, I know that one shouldn't put too much into many of their lyrics (ie. Chinacat), but these tunes are attempting to be relatively serious. Yes, I know that Rain's lyrics were from Barlow and Samson is a "traditional" song, but Bob could have easily made some changes that would have removed those roadblocks. At least in my opinion. Other than issues with some of his tunes, I concur that Bob played a key role in creating the band's sound and chemistry.

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Poster: tbrad Date: Sep 15, 2006 2:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I think it was Rock Scully's book in which he related an incident very early in the band's history in which Jer had decided that they would be better off without Bob and Pig.
He told him straight up, "Pig and Bob are out, tell 'em."
Jerry's complaint was that Bobby didn't grasp the role of rythm guitar player - you know the traditional barre chord accompanyment. Since Bobby didn't want to stay in the middle range it meant that Jarry had to constantly be filling in rhythm figures mixed with his lead playing. What Jerry wnated of course was to be able to just wail without giving much thought to keeping the mid-range covered, since that's the way everybody did it back then, i.e. Eric Clapton whom Jerry idolized.
It was the 'Bobby problem' that actually made Garcia grow as a musician and lead to the unique sound that we all came to know and love.
It wouldn't have been the dead without Bob, noone can deny that.
That said, his songs were sophomoric in comparison to the deep Garcia/Hunter contributions to the band - and I really hated A LOT of them, i.e. Looks Like Rain (the biggest groove killer of them all!), Sampson and Delila, Big River (which Jerry is on record as having said he despised), CC Rider (ugggghhh).
But I liked Lazy Lightning, and One More Saturday Night.....

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 2:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

yeah but Hunter was writing Garcia's lyrics! Even though Bob has some very interesting songs - Estimated, Victim. And he also has some raunchy rockers such as Bucket and Miracle. Songwriting aside his playing was invaluable. Like I said before - who has the intersting licks in China Cat for example? That would be Bobby not Jerry. Or Scarlet? Jerry is playing rhytm at the beginning of that tune.

Also fwiw I think Weir should be commended for having such a thick skin and healthy sense of humor. He took so much shit from not only fans but the Roadcrew and managers. Excuse me? These people were in the GRateful Dead family but not the band fercryinoutloud!

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Poster: tbrad Date: Sep 15, 2006 4:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

All very good points UJD.
He did take a lot of sh*t. An there were times when he carried the band when Jerry wasn't up to the task.
No question he is a very talented guitar player.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

At the end of the day, he's just human, wrapped up in the various human foibles and flaws that we all share. And i can say this with certainty: i didn't enjoy every show i attended equally, but i never attended a show where i was internally bitching at Bobby for what he played or how he played. He played -- and that was enough for me. His post Dead persona and comments, well that's another story, but one that has been commented on ad nauseam in these here pages.

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Poster: willowgordon Date: Sep 15, 2006 4:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

For all the cheese, shorts and spit there is no doubt that Mr. Weir is a fabulous and underrated guitarist with a unique style. One thing I don't think we consider enough is the fact that many of Weir's songs were just really, really fun to dance to. Many of them were "you had to be there" moments that are easy to criticize, but the dance floor wouldn't have been as much fun without him.

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Poster: doodle Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Hey, who has Ratdog stuff they want to trade?!?!?

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I have a few but they're not real recent. 2003 I think. I also have that Comes A Time show.

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Poster: doodle Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Thanks for the reply Unclejohnnyd. I was hoping to hook up with some of the "for sale" only ones (04-06). I have a couple/few if you're interested.

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

Good point! I remember a Hunter interview where he's talking about when he presented Jerry something heavy and Jerry goes " Jesus Hunter, we're a DANCE band"

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Poster: high flow Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

yes. entertaiment factor for the live audience. dancing was a vital aspect. that IS a great point.

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Poster: doodle Date: Sep 15, 2006 4:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

I'll chime in here, though i have not read every post completely (I'll admit). The latest topic seems to be the cowboy songs and why they are there. You have to admit, they are good tunes, some even classics/staples. Overplayed? Yeah, but so was Deal...yes, you know it was!Why they played them?.. who knows. Kreutzman was on record for saying he didn't like them, but it's a band, everyone gives a little. Would you have gone to a hundred shows if it was just drums? In an earlier post, Bob was labeled as the "rich, preppy kid" who was glad pigpen was on his team. If I'm not mistaken, didn't they enjoy/hangout/live at Mickey's ranch in the late sixties? Sounds like money to me. In fact, McNally's book is laced with references to connections and affluence throughout the scene. My take is that the scene would never have survived without these connections. Think of your own touring days, how many "Sunbeam Rainbow Child" folks had their John Smith gas and credit cards in their wallets that their folks paid for while they were at their expenssive colleges (God knows, many of my friends had them and they enabled us to get to the next city). So, a tangent here, but I think these points ought to be addressed. In regards to a thread about liking Bob, I think it's something that is well overdue. No disrespect to the JGB, but without Bob (in particular), that is what the Dead would have been; a real good band, but without those special, extra layers of music. If one person was grooving to Garcia, another could here Lesh, another the drums and another Bob. All these would come together as one unified dance and sound and that is the band. Everyone was important and boy, they were good. So yeah, go Bob. Listen to the tapes, he adds stuff that no other rhythm/rock guitarist ever did. He, for me, was often how I heard the music.

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Poster: unclejohnnyd Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

The holier hippier than thou shit was allways just that to me - shit. I remember people and their attitudes towards Bill Graham making $ without regards to many of the great and generous things the man did too. The Dead considered him a friend did they not? Ok I digress, this is about Weir.

I saw the Comes A Time show at the Greek last year. I haven't felt that level of emotion at a concert since seeing the real deal and it was due to Bobby! If anyone wants to hear a great Bobby moment check out the China>Rider jam from 5-19-74. One of my all time favorites.

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Poster: doodle Date: Sep 15, 2006 5:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Swallowing my pride....Why I Loved Bobby!!

For other great "Bob-Driven" shows/recordings, check out the Greeks from 5.23.82. The mix on set I (shakedown, in particular, is incredible). Good stuff, also check out 9. 21.82 from MSG. The Playin>Crazy Fingers opener has outstanding rhythm stuff during the Playin'.